Designed and handmade by Connections to Success participants, this jewelry is empowering families to break the cycle of poverty. Through yet another Connections to Success social enterprise, Successful Jewelry Designs is teaching participants valuable entrepreneurial and professional development skills. Each person is enrolled in a microenterprise financial literacy class, as well as trained in jewelry design and retail marketing. After completing all training, they are empowered to either become an independent designer or branch off to create their own jewelry company. Both opportunities will allow the participants to increase their income and in turn obtain economic independence.
Meet our Designers!
Shelia was first introduced to Connections to Success in 2011 when she was organizing a fair for her church and wanted to know if Dress for Success Midwest would like to be involved. The woman that answered the phone put her in touch with Dress for Success Midwest, but also told Sheila about all the other programs offered through Connections to Success, including the Professional Women’s Group and the Personal & Professional Development Class.
After being involved with the Professional Women’s Group for three years, Shelia decided to enroll in the Personal & Professional Development class. She says the class was a tremendous help!
“It guided me through the resume process, taught me about work ethics, and helped me feel better about myself. I still use a lot of the skills I was taught in the class in my life today.” -Shelia
After graduating from the Personal & Professional Development Class, Shelia was given the opportunity to be part of Connections to Success’ newest social enterprise, Successful Jewelry Designs. This was the perfect opportunity for Shelia, several years ago she had written down her goals and one of them was to learn how to make jewelry.
Shelia is currently working in the Medical Records Department at a local hospital.
“Never did I imagine so many wonderful things could happen for me at once.” –Shelia, “I am still learning and growing as an artisan, employed woman, the wife of a supportive husband and a mother of three children. The Connections to Success family continues to be part of my life and to inspire me. They provided me with a jewelry kit and I can now begin to make my own jewelry.”
Leah became part of Connections to Success in 2011 when she was invited by a friend to attend a Professional Women’s Group meeting. She was so impressed with the people she met that she continued to come.
Many remarkable women throughout the years have inspired, encouraged and motivated Leah. The classes that she has taken at Connections to Success has taught her about money management, developing job skills, and goal setting.
“Connections to Success is more than a place to go for classes, it is a family. Connections to Success has provided food for my family and has given me clothes to go to work in.” – Leah
Leah received training from our Successful Jewelry Designs social enterprise and has also earned a jewelry kit through the program.
“It is because of Connections to Success I can now start my own jewelry business which I am going to call Leah’s Designs.”
Leah has dreamed for years about having her own business. A dream she never thought would come true.
“I now will be able to provide for my children in a way I didn’t think possible and more importantly I can set a positive example for them that hard work does pay off.”
Having a support system through Connections to Success has empowered Leah to reach those dreams and she is now so excited about what the future has in store for her and her family in this new venture.
“The best part of it is now I will be able to give back and hopefully make a difference in someone else’s life.”
Connections to Success Alumni